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Great Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day Around the DC Area

Hiking Huntley Meadows with one of my favorites



There’s a very important day coming up soon that, in my totally unbiased opinion, requires some special plans: Mother’s Day! Whether you prefer to coordinate your own celebration or enjoy made-just-for-the-day events, this round-up has plenty of ideas to help make the occasion wonderful for all the honorees.

If Mom Hearts Art
Where: Local Museums in DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by museum

See some art that mom will enjoy, perhaps something that’s not on the usual kid museum circuit, and pair it with a family-friendly brunch nearby. Check out the No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man exhibit at the Renwick then head to Woodward Table. Visit the National Museum of Women in the Arts then enjoy a meal at Momofuku. Or go see the Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle then dine at Firefly.

Savor the Day
Where: Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard | Davidson, MD
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

Head to the vineyard for an afternoon of wine, food, and live music. There’s no official Mother’s Day event, but a day at the vineyard is a perfect balance of kid and grown-up fun. Sugarloaf welcomes children to join adults at the winery and even has a designated Play Area. Bring along a picnic, enjoy the lovely scenery, and maybe do some hiking nearby. Be sure to savor the house specialty, of course — I highly recommend the rosé! Read more about Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, in this KFDC post.

A Day with the (First) First Lady
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: May 12-13
Admission: $18/adult, $9/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under

Join the Mother of our Country, Martha Washington, for special Mother’s Day activities at Mount Vernon, her digs with George back in the day. Stroll through the magnificent gardens in bloom and enjoy a tour of the mansion grounds through the eyes of Patty Peters, Martha’s granddaughter. Moms will also receive a lavender sachet from Lady Washington while supplies last. Note: The above admission prices are online rates; they are slightly more at the door.

Fancy This
Where: Brookside Gardens | Wheaton, MD
When: Through September 17
Admission: $8/adult, $5/child

Celebrate the day in a beautiful place with an activity the whole family will enjoy. At the the wonderful Wings of Fancy exhibit, walk amid a garden of butterflies in the annual display of live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world. It’s a guaranteed delight for all ages. Stay to explore the rest of Brookside’s lovely grounds and be sure make time to play in the adorable Children’s Garden. View scenes from the exhibit in this KFDC post and read even more about it in this one.

Do Some Garden-ing
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Instead of bringing flowers to mom, take her to them instead! With the bloom season upon us, and landscapes bursting with color, a visit to a garden makes for a lovely outing, especially when there’s often more to do than just look at the plants and flowers. Stroll among the many multi-tiered plats at Dumbarton Oaks. Explore, play, and see the amazing azalea bloom at the National Arboretum. Wander around Green Spring Gardens on a scavenger hunt. Venture out to the gorgeous Meadowlark Botanical Garden. Relish in the peace at the Brookland Monastery. Or stop and smell the roses (and more) at the U.S. Botanic Garden. You can bring along a picnic to many of these places and make it a whole day’s outing.

Family Scavenger Hunt Adventure
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: May 13, 11am
Admission: $19.50/adult, $17.50/child

For moms who love some sleuthing (a penchant for Harry Potter helps, too), the next Wizard School Scavenger Hunt by Watson Adventures happens to fall on Mother’s Day. The fun, unique activity for families has you on a mission competing against other teams to find art that echoes characters, places, and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies, with the help of clever Harry Potter-themed clues. Spots are still left in the 11am session. And while the website says it’s for ages 10 and up, kids younger than that definitely can partake, too! This KFDC post has more about this awesome adventure.

Brunch & Bowl
Where: Pinstripes | Georgetown, DC
When: May 13
Admission: $36/adult, $15/ages 5-12, free/under 5

Dine and play on Mother’s Day! Treat mom to an expansive bottomless brunch fit for a queen with favorites like made-to-order omelets, carved prime rib and fresh shrimp, bagels with spreads and smoked salmon, and so much more. Moms will be especially encouraged to sit back and relax with mimosas and bloody Mary’s as the kids are taken care of at the ‘Kids Corner’ station with pizzas, chicken fingers, Mac and cheese and more. Stay for some family bowling (or bocce) after — be sure to reserve a lane in advance to ensure you get game time. And note that bowling costs extra. Read more about Pinstripes in this KFDC post.

Zip through the trees at Sandy Spring Adventure Park

Free in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: May 13
Admission: $12-56, free for Mom

For adventurous moms who love the outdoors, particular being in the trees, an afternoon in the aerial adventure forest of the Adventure Park at Sandy Springs is the perfect way to spend the day — especially when mom’s admission is on them. Buy one ticket and get her ticket free using the promo code MOM18. (FYI: This is one of my very favorite adventures in the area — read more about it here and here.)

Blue crabs, one of the best treats of the season

A (Crab) Feast Fit for a Queen
Where: Eastern Shore, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Depends on how much you order!

Take advantage of the start of blue crab season to celebrate! And you really can’t beat a feast of the steamed Old Bay-spiced creature at a waterfront crab house on a nice day. Cantler’s in Annapolis is an institution, and Mike’s Crab House in Riva is also popular with delicious crabs, gorgeous scenery, and a great outdoor waiting area if tables aren’t immediately available. Last year, we had a super Mother’s Day at Kentmorr’s restaurant and beach scene. Keep it closer to home (but forego the waterfront) at Quarterdeck, Ivy City Smokehouse, and Bethesda Crab House. Wherever you go, make reservations, because special occasion days guarantee crowds.

Walk in the Woods
Where: Around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Take a hike as you celebrate. See flowers in bloom, tramp in places with scenic views, walk and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. Bring along a picnic for lunch al fresco, too. A particular favorite for a special day is the hike from Riverbend Park to Great Falls. The wetlands at Huntley Meadows offer a nice hike and great views. Pohick Bay Regional Park and Prince William Forest Park are both great places to walk in the woods, too. A day trip to Harpers Ferry also makes a great outing. And this go-to KFDC post has even more recommendations for good places for the whole family to hit the trail.

Mother’s Day on the Patuxent
Where: Solomons Island, MD
When: Mother’s Day weekend (or anytime)
Admission: Rates vary by boat & time

This was a really great way we celebrated Mother’s Day with friends a few years ago. A pontoon boat outing on the Patuxent River was a super fun and relaxing time for all. Pack a cooler, don the swimsuits, slather on sunscreen, and get ready for a fantastic day on the water. Afterwards, treat yourselves to ice cream on Solomon’s Island or even stay for dinner at one of the many waterside restaurants there.

Go with the Flow
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

For other Mother’s Day adventures on the water, a bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and stand up paddleboards. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go and has a great riverside area to hang out and picnic when you’re off the water. You can also row from Ballpark Boathouse then picnic and play at Yards Park. We spent a wonderful Mother’s Day a couple of years ago at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis — with lots of options for outdoor recreation along with paddling, it’s particularly awesome. This post has a round-up of even more places to navigate the local waterways.

Mother’s Love Treasure Hunt
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Throughout May
Admission: $25

Think with your heart and feel with your mind as you search through themed rooms and behind secret doors. The folks at O Mansion will never ruin the surprise of finding a secret door by giving you a map, so be sure to keep your eyes open. If you find two secret doors you are an above average sleuth! There are easy clues and hard clues on this treasure hunt — but everyone is sure to have fun. You can also enjoy a special brunch on Mother’s Day, May 13 ($85/person). Get a glimpse and read more about the Mansion on O in this KFDC post.

Up in the Air
Where: Preakness Balloon Festival | West Friendship, MD
When: May 11-13
Admission: Free, but parking is $20/vehicle

If you really want to splurge and do something extra cool, book mom on a hot air balloon ride at the annual Preakness Balloon Festival. You can also just go and enjoy the view of them floating above along with fun festivities on ground. With over 25 hot air balloons, tethered balloon rides, a large kid zone, a beer and wine garden, Maryland’s finest vendors, the Baltimore area’s best food, a balloon glow after dusk, and live music, mom is practically guaranteed an awesome day. Free Flight balloon rides start at $250. Though for $150, you can take a tethered balloon ride and renew your vows! 🙂


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Filed under 2018, All ages, Annual, DC, Holidays, Seasonal, Special Event, Spring, Weekend

Activities & Events Around DC to Help Make Mother’s Day Extra Special

Last Mother's Day with my loves at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis

Last Mother’s Day with my loves at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis



Moms’ big day is right around the corner, and it’s an occasion worth making extra special plans for — in my totally unbiased opinion, anyway. 😉 There are so many great ways to spend it (and prep for it), from activities and offerings especially for the day to special events that happen to coincide with the date. I’ve compiled a selection for you here and added in some of my own ideas, all coming from experience, that make for excellent celebrations. I hope they help make the day as fabulous as all the moms! Happy Mother’s Day!

Baking for Mom
Where: Williams-Sonoma Stores | Around the DMV
When: May 6, 10am
Admission:

Kids ages 8-13 can prep for Mother’s Day by with a fun baking lesson from Williams-Sonoma, part of their Junior Chef Classes. They’ll teach participants to bake like a pro and create a dessert that is perfect for Mom. Contact your local store for more information and to register.

Children’s Ball
Where: Textile Museum | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 13, 10am – 12pm & 1-3pm
Admission: $15/adult & child together, $10 members

It may be called a Children’s Ball, but this event for the whole family will make it a special Mother’s Day weekend at the Textile Museum. Dress in your best and enjoy fun and fancy treats, dancing beats by GW Ballroom, and a kid-centered visit to the exhibition Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair. There are two time slots for this, 10am – 12pm and 1-3pm. Space is limited, and advance registration is required. Register online or call 202.994.7394.

Milkshake Celebrates Moms Concert
Where: Creative Alliance | Baltimore, MD
When: May 13, 12pm
Admission: $10/non-members, $8/members (+$3 at door) free for 2 and under

The Milkshake Band is hosting a mini-activist fair as part of their Celebrate Moms Concert. Kids can have their face painted, make Mother’s Day cards for mom, and even get their picture taken with Moo, Milkshake’s mascot. Every mom will get a flower and some chocolates, and Moms can also connect with some great non-profit organizations. Bring a diaper and/or diaper ointment donation for Share Baby and get a free Milkshake CD!

Savor the Day
Where: Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyards
When: May 13-14
Admission: $10/over 21, $5/under 21

Head to the vineyard in Davidson, MD, for an afternoon of wine, food, and live music. Mother’s Day weekend is an official ticketed event at Sugarloaf for the first time ever, so if you’re a party over 4 people, be sure to make reservations in advance. Live music will last an hour longer then usual, and Atlantic Smokers will be there with delicious food! Sweet and Savory of Middletown will have mouth watering desserts for sale as well. Admission includes a souvenir glass and a glass of wine. Infants and stroller age toddlers are free. Be sure to read the rules about what you can and cannot bring before you go. Read more about Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyards, in this KFDC post.

Mother’s Day on the Farm
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: May 13-14
Admission: $10/adult, $8/child

Why buy roses when you can buy Mom something as unique as a fresh bundle of asparagus? May is the peak month for Asparagus and it will be fresh and full of flavor. (FYI: PYO strawberries are also available now!) And Great Country has a terrific sprawling play area, while the kids are having a blast there, Mom can enjoy shopping in the Farm Market, which is stocked with jams & jellies, local meats, baked goods, and great gift ideas. Or she can simply relax over lunch and a roasted asparagus flatbread from the Roosteraunt concession stand. Each visiting mom will also receive a Chocolate Dipped Strawberry to thank her for her love, patience, and nurturing in raising the next generation.

Mother’s Day at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: May 13-14
Admission: $18/adult, $9/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under (online rates)

Join the Mother of our Country, Martha Washington, for special Mother’s Day activities at Mount Vernon, her digs with George back in the day. Stroll through the magnificent gardens in bloom and enjoy a tour of the mansion grounds through the eyes of Patty Peters, Martha’s granddaughter. Moms will also receive a lavender sachet from Lady Washington while supplies last.

DC Green Festival – Discount for Moms
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mt. Vernon Square, DC
When: May 13-14
Admission: $12/one day, $22/weekend (before discount)

Go green and enjoy family time with a special discount for moms at the nation’s premier sustainability event. As a Mother’s Day treat, moms get 50% off admission (kids 16 and under are free). Explore over 250 exhibitors, hear from inspirational speakers, indulge in delicious vegan or vegetarian food, and the PG County Parks and Recreation Family Fun Pavilion will host interactive educational activities and entertainment for kids all day.

Wings of Fancy
Where: Brookside Gardens | Wheaton, MD
When: Through September 17
Admission: $8/adult, $5/child

Celebrate the day in a beautiful place with an activity the whole family will enjoy. At the the wonderful Wings of Fancy exhibit, walk amid a garden of butterflies in the annual display of live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world. It’s a guaranteed delight for all ages. Stay to explore the rest of Brookside’s lovely grounds and be sure make time to play in the adorable Children’s Garden. Read more about the exhibit in this KFDC post.

Family Style Tasting Menu
Where: Joselito Casa de Comidas | Capitol Hill, DC
When: May 14
Admission: Cost of meal

My new favorite neighborhood restaurant is offering a special tasting menu for Mother’s Day! Joselito, located on Capitol Hill, serves delicious Spanish cuisine in a lively, warm and welcoming setting. They recently debuted brunch, and a kids’ menu is on the way — though their regular menu has dishes that make patrons of all ages happy. Bring the whole fam or make it a moms’ meal out — you’re in for a treat no matter what! The tasting menu is $50/adult ($80 with wine pairings), and kids can order from the a la carte menu. I recommend making reservations, as they often book up (and let them know where you heard about it!).

A Day at the Ballpark
Where: Nationals Park | Navy Yard, DC
When: May 14
Admission:Ticket prices vary

For mommas who are Nats fans, catch a baseball game with the fam! The Phillies will be in town for the weekend, and Sunday’s game will include a carnation giveaway for the first 5,000 fans to arrive. Unfortunately, the special Mother’s Day brunch is already sold out, but for a lot of us moms, a ballpark hotdog, a beer, and a fun outing with our favorite people will do just as well.

Mother’s Day on the Patuxent
Where: Solomons Island, MD
When: Mother’s Day weekend (or anytime)
Admission: Rates vary by boat & time

This isn’t an event, per se, but a really great way we celebrated Mother’s Day with friends a few years ago. A pontoon boat outing on the Patuxent River was a super fun and relaxing time for all. Pack a cooler, don the swimsuits, slather on sunscreen, and get ready for a fantastic day on the water.

Go with the Flow
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

For other Mother’s Day adventures on the water, a bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and stand up paddleboards. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go and has a great riverside area to hang out and picnic when you’re off the water. You can also row from Ballpark Boathouse then picnic and play at Yards Park. We spent a fantastic Mother’s Day last year at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis — with lots of options for outdoor recreation along with paddling, it’s particularly awesome. This post has of round-up of even more places to cruise the local waterways.

DC Bike Ride
Where: Throughout Washington, DC
When: May 14, 8am – 1pm
Admission: $70/ages 8 and up, $50/ Girl Scouts, free for 7 and under

Celebrate the day, our communities and amazing city, and life on two wheels! In its second year, the DC Bike Ride is a closed-roads, car-free, 20-mile bike ride through DC. The inaugural ride had over 7,000 participants and raised more than $38,000, and this year they hope to do even better. There will be entertainment on the course for a lively atmosphere, plus kids ages 3-7 ride for free (though they need to be in a bike seat, tagalong, trailer, or tandem). Admission fee includes a sling backpack. There is also a VIP entry for $125 that inclues a tech half zip pullover, guaranteed first corral, & lunch.

Do Some Garden-ing
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Instead of bringing flowers to mom, take her to them instead! With the bloom season upon us, and landscapes bursting with color, a visit to a garden is a fantastic outing, especially when there’s often more to do than just look at the plants and flowers. Explore and play at the National Arboretum, wander around Green Spring Gardens on a scavenger hunt, venture out to the gorgeous Meadowlark Botanical Garden, relish in the peace at the Brookland Monastery, stroll among the many multi-tiered plats at Dumbarton Oaks, or stop and smell the roses (and more) at the U.S. Botanic Garden. You can bring along a picnic to many of these places and make it a whole day’s outing.

Mother’s Day Campfire
Where: Burke Lake Park | Burke, VA
When: May 14, 6-7:30pm
Admission: $8

Enjoy a campfire at Burke Lake Park with mom and investigate the hard work that goes into raising the young and toast marshmallows around the campfire. Register an adult with any registered child. For ages 4 and up.

Mother’s Day Walk & Draw
Where: The Lemon Bowl & Nearby Streets | Georgia Ave., DC
When: May 14, 10am – 12:30pm
Admission: $45/individual, $80/pair

Moms and kids can channel their inner artists at this Learning to Travel Sketch: Walk & Draw workshop. Taught by DC architect Lindsey May, the class will meet for 30 minutes at the Lemon Bowl for a sketching intro, then walk to nearby landmarks and practice sketching architectural features in en plein air (a fancy way to say ‘in the outside open-ness of real fresh air), doing a guided sketch exercise, then individual sketching. Admission fee includes everything you will need for a successful travel sketching afternoon including notebook, pens, a sketching tutorial, and hands on assistance in the field. The Lemon Bowl is located at 3015 Georgia Avenue NW.

Family Scavenger Hunt Adventure
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: May 14, 11am
Admission: $19.50/adult, $17.50/child

For moms who love some sleuthing (a penchant for Harry Potter helps, too), the next Wizard School Scavenger Hunt by Watson Adventures happens to fall on Mother’s Day. The fun, unique activity for families has you on a mission competing against other team to find art that echoes characters, places, and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies, with the help of clever Harry Potter-themed clues. Spots are still left in the 11am session. And while the website says it’s for ages 10 and up, kids younger than that definitely can partake, too! This KFDC post has more about this awesome adventure.

Brunch & Bowl
Where: Pinstripes | Georgetown, DC
When: May 14
Admission: $36/adult, $15/ages 5-12, free for under 5 (bowling is extra!)

Dine and play on Mother’s Day! Treat mom to an expansive bottomless brunch fit for a queen with favorites like made-to-order omelets, carved prime rib and fresh shrimp, bagels with spreads and smoked salmon, and so much more. Moms will be especially encouraged to sit back and relax with mimosas and bloody Mary’s as the kids are taken care of at the ‘Kids Corner’ station with pizzas, chicken fingers, Mac and cheese and more. Stay for some family bowling (or bocce) after — be sure to reserve a lane in advance to ensure you get game time.

Kids in the Kitchen, Brunch, & Pampering
Where: Watergate Hotel | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 14
Admission: Varies by activity (see below)

Want to get fancy? The iconic hotel has special offerings for mom and kids on Mother’s Day. From 11am – 4pm, Executive Chef Michael Santoro will teach kids ages 6-12 how to impress their moms with a hands-on class, where each participant chooses from a three-course, kid-safe menu to bring home to their Mom, or right to their table at Kingbird ($25/child and includes the meal and printed recipes – call 202.827.1600 to sign up). If you want to do the brunch, it will be served at the Kingbird restaurant from 10:30am – 4:30pm, with options to suit every palate ($110/adult and $55/children ages of 5-12, 4 and under eat free – make a reservation through Open Table or 202.827.1600). After brunch, mmoms who have any mani/pedi or spa treatments booked are welcome to come to Argentta Spa with their families — children’s movies will be playing at the pool area from 1pm onward.

Free in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: May 14
Admission:

For adventurous moms who love the outdoors, particular being in the trees, an afternoon in the aerial adventure forest of the Adventure Park at Sandy Springs is the perfect way to spend the day — especially when mom’s admission is on them. Buy one ticket and get mom’s ticket free using the promo code MOM17. (FYI: This is one of my very favorite adventures in the area — read more about it here.)

Mother’s Day Pontoon Ride
Where: Black Hill Nature Programs | Boyds, MD
When: May 14, 6:30-8pm
Where: $6

Here’s a nice nature treat for moms who enjoy the outdoors. Take a sunset tour of Little Seneca Lake and enjoy the beauty all around with the people mom loves as you cruise the lake and look for nature activity. All participants must register in advance. Meet at the pontoon boat dock located by the boat rental area.

Walk in the Woods
Where: Around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Take a hike as you celebrate. See flowers in bloom, tramp in places with scenic views, walk and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. Bring along a picnic for lunch al fresco, too. A particular favorite for a special day is the hike from Riverbend Park to Great Falls. A day trip to Harpers Ferry would make a great outing, too. And this go-to KFDC post has even more recommendations for good places to hit the trail with kids.


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Filed under 2017, Annual, DC, Eats, Holidays, Maryland, Moms, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Virginia, Weekend

Pontoon Boating on the Patuxent

patux_boysbridge

I’m not one to require an over-the-top observance of Mother’s Day, but I do like to celebrate it with a nice mix of family time and “me” time. Usually, we do a fun Bloody Mary brunch, then I head out for a little pampering with one of my momma cohorts. This year, however, we decided to go a little bigger and planned a pontoon boat excursion on the Patuxent River with friends (and a movie later on for the “me time” part). And with the gorgeous spring day we had that second Sunday of May, it turned out to be an ideal way spend the special day.

patux_shore

patux_bridge

We reserved the boat in advance from Solomons Boat Rental at Solomons Island, a peaceful fishing village just over an hour’s drive from DC where the Patuxent meets the Chesapeake Bay. The eight-person, 24-foot pontoon was perfect for our crew (there were actually 9 of us, but with small kids the fit was fine). You can rent it for one, two, four, or eight hours. We originally opted for two, but ended up tacking on extra when we realized that wouldn’t be enough to enjoy the beautiful day.

patux_gabesash

patux_odrive

We packed a couple of coolers for a picnic lunch aboard the boat (Bloody Mary fixings included to keep the tradition going :). The kids were required to wear life preservers the entire time, and there were some for adults on board as well.

patux_crew

patux_kidshands

The folks at Solomons Boat Rental provided a map, and we headed toward the nearby Thomas Johnson Bridge and out on the river. We cruised along for awhile, enjoying the cool breeze and water spraying up on the boat. The scenery, consisting of both natural areas and pretty riverside houses, was lovely. As we got to more narrow waterways, we dropped anchor for some swimming, eating, and relaxing. Being on the water elicits such a great carefree feeling.

patux_boysswim

patux_river

patux_scenery

After a good couple of hours on the river, we headed back to the boat house. It’s located right next to a small strip of sand, so the kids played on the beach and swam for a bit before taking a short walk to get ice cream cones.

patux_kidsbeach

patux_obridge

We headed home after that, though you can make a longer day of it and have a meal on Solomons Island. Several restaurants are right on the water, many serving crabs and shellfish, waterside kind of food. You can see a list of them here. And for more information about renting pontoon boats (or motor boats) from Solomons Boat Rental, visit their website.


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Filed under All ages, DC, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend